AFL grand final 2022 Sydney Swans

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has questioned the timing of Lance Franklin’s announcement that he’ll stay at the Sydney Swans for another year, declaring it would have been better to reveal the call after the grand final.

The Swans released a cryptic media alert on Monday night announcing Franklin would be available at the club’s open training session on Tuesday morning, where he announced he would stay on for another year.

“If I’m being super critical, I think this is an individual thing to do to announce it (on Tuesday),” Cornes said on Nine’s Footy Classified.

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“He should have waited until after the grand final, but that’s being incredibly picky on an absolute legend of the game.”

Fellow panelist, veteran journalist Caroline Wilsonagreed it was picky, and said to hold off until after the grand final was the original plan.

Wilson said Franklin told the club he wanted to go around again in the lead-up to its qualifying final win against the Demons.

“The club’s plan was to put it aside and announce it after the finals campaign had ended whenever it did end, and that it was not to be a distraction,” Wilson said.

“What happened in recent days is there was so much talk about, ‘Will this be Lance’s last kick? Will this be his last goal?’

“(The Swans) thought it was actually going to be more of a distraction if they didn’t announce it.

“The deal was agreed to – the money anyway – back in August. It was never about the money.

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“(Chairman) Andrew Pridham and (chief executive) Tom Harley kept telling us it was more about whether Lance wanted to play on another year.

“They insist he was never going anywhere else.

“Shortly before the qualifying final against Melbourne … he came to the club and said, ‘I want to play on’, so the deal was done.” 

Early last month, Franklin released a statement declaring he had put contract talks on hold until the end of the season.

Cornes was also critical of the timing of the release of that statement, which was issued through his manager just as the Swans got on a plane to Melbourne to play the Kangaroos.

He then questioned why he released that statement in the first place.

Wilson said she believed it was because Franklin at that point wasn’t sure if he wanted to play another year.

She believes he has taken a large pay cut to stay at the club.

His nine-year deal, which saw him move to Sydney in the 2013 off-season, was worth $10 million.

In announcing his new deal, Franklin took a swipe at critics of the original contract who suggested he wouldn’t see that contract out, let alone sign an extension.

“There’s been a lot of knockers over the years, hasn’t there?” Franklin said.

“When I first got here people were knocking that I wouldn’t get there, I wouldn’t make it, I’d play for four or five years and that would be it.

“So I’ve definitely proved them wrong, haven’t I?”

The four-time Coleman Medallist said he didn’t consider switching clubs for 2023, confirming it was either the Swans or retirement – a call he said was “50-50”.

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